June 2023 Minutes
Bardney Group Parish Council
Minutes from Full Council Meeting
Bardney Village Hall Tuesday 20th June 2023 at 7pm
Cllr Ian Fleetwood (Chairman), Cllr John Papworth (Vice-Chairman), Cllr Frank Bates, Cllr Lou Reeves, Cllr Martin Hare, Cllr Ken Hutchinson, Cllr Ruth Lane, Cllr Samantha Wright, Cllr Barry Newlove
Acting Clerk/RFO: Laura Allen
Cllr Darby, Cllr McIlroy, Cllr Corbould, Cllr Percival, Cllr L Newlove and Cllr Lintin
Members of the Public
8 members of the public were present
Meeting commenced at 7pm
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited the public forum to commence:
A summary of matters raised by members of the public and responses are listed below:
1. A member of the public stated that the P&R Committee Chairman being the Line manager to all staff was not advisable and asked if legal advice had been taken? The response provided was that Line Manager responsibility is accepted on a National, Local and Regional basis within other Councils and that the Chairman of the Personnel Committee is the correct person to take the lead with staffing issues, supported by the Vice-Chairman. It was also noted that their qualities and experience had been carefully considered during their appointment.
2. The member of the public asked when the Council were informed of this decision? The Chairman confirmed this was contained within the confidential minutes which had been removed from the website due to an issue with the website and publishing them.
3. The member of the public asked the Chairman to clarify if he was in charge of all Councillors at P&R Committee Meetings? The response provided was that due to the recent the staffing vacancy, the Chairman had a duty to ensure things move forward and that there is a clear audit trail for decisions that have been made. It was made clear that the Chairman is no more important than any other Councillor, but in this instance the Chairman had to take the issues forward.
4. An observation was made that a lot of Parish Council’s where District Councillors are in post provide reports at Meetings. It was stated that a report from a District Councillor had been missed and it would be much appreciated to put a short report on the agenda. The Chairman stated this could be achieved and that a briefing note has already been circulated to members of the Council and could go on Social Media.
5. A question was asked whether the Parish Council can assist with a light which was knocked down on Station Road during refurbishment and in relation to a caravan that was causing an obstruction? The Chairman reassured the resident that the County Council will have it in hand and resolve the issue, but sometimes there is a lengthy wait as it goes through their own processes. The issue with the Caravan was noted and the Parish Council could notify the Police if it became an obstruction.
6. A member of the public wished to thank the Parish Council for filling in the dip on the Village Green.
1. Apologies for Absence
To receive and accept apologies where valid reasons for absence have been given to the Clerk prior to the meeting in accordance with Local Gov. Act 1972, Sch 12, para 40.
Apologies received and accepted for Cllr Darby, Cllr McIlroy, Cllr Corbould, Cllr Percival and Cllr Lintin.
2. Declarations of Interests
To receive any declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011 being any pecuniary interest in agenda items not previously recorded on Members’ Register of Interests and any written requests for dispensation.
No declarations or dispensations requested.
3. Approval of Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the APCM meeting held on 18 th May 2023 and EOM held on the 1 st June 2023, and to authorise the Chairman to sign the official minutes.
Cllr Lane proposed an amendment to the minutes for the EOM held on the 1 st June to include the statement that the First Aid Course purchased by the previous Council costing £800 was purchased without being discussed or approved by the Full Council.
It was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Hutchinson and unanimously RESOLVED to accept the minutes with the proposed amendments.
4. Chairman’s Report and updates on matters arising since the last Meeting
The last month has been spent trying to resolve various administration issues following the resignation of the previous Clerk/RFO. I am pleased to report that most systems are now in place, and that business to the public is progressing.
There have been 2 burials within the last month and both have had the dignity and respect that they deserve.
The roped off area on The Green has been filled in with soil to remove any potential hazard and will be monitored long term.
Last week we came into the Parish Office to find that an apple tree in the St Oswald’s orchard had been snapped off at ground level so this will need replacing.
The Personnel & Review sub-committee have now held two meetings and the outcome is that the current Administration Assistant will be acting up to the role of Clerk/RFO from 5th June 2023 until the post is filled.
I attended a meeting with the working group for the Bardney Playpark renewal a couple of weeks ago and West Lindsey District Council grant officers. The replacements will cost around £120,000 including VAT and I have suggested that a working group could be formed involving the Playpark people, Village Hall & Playing Field Committee, Parish Council, and also me as District Councillor. This will be brought back to the next meeting with a terms of reference and the concept will be to raise the bulk of the finance required via the West Lindsey grant officers.
The Parish Council have also received a letter from a resident asking how to protect the tree on Stocks Hill with a Tree Preservation Order, and also how to request that the Lych Gate entrance to the Cemetery might be protected with Listed Building Consent. The Parish Council will research both situations and make suitable requests on their behalf.
Questions have recently been asked by members of the public with regard to legal costs incurred during the Autumn of 2022. I have asked for written details from a Councillor and have received a very limited answer. I have therefore contacted the legal firm for the correct information.
LALC training induction was offered to all Councillors and there was a good attendance. The Chairman reported on the list of courses available.
Finally, the Parish Council note the successful prosecution of Omex by the Environment Agency with regard to the pollution of local water courses and the River Witham resulting in an environmental disaster. 153,000 fish were killed, woodland and habitat was lost. The company was fined £500,000.
5. To receive updates on the following:
i) The By-Election for Apley Parish
As a result of the election for Apley a few weeks ago, the Chairman confirmed that Cllr Frank Bates had been elected unopposed, and being a returning Councillor welcomed him back to the Council. Fortunately, another full election cost at £3000 was not required. The Acting Clerk confirmed the cost from WLDC for the uncontested by-election for Apley was £62.50.
ii) Dip on the Village Green
It was noted that efforts had been appreciated by residents to rectify the issue.
iii) The IX Squadron Association WW2 Propeller Memorial Lighting
It was noted that the issue with the Memorial Lighting was either due to a failed bulb or timing switch, and that it may have a financial implication.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Reeves and unanimously RESOLVED to set a reasonable cost of £250 or less in order to obtain quotes to rectify the issue quickly.
6. To agree and approve the Terms of Reference for the St Oswald’s Feast Working Group
Cllr Hare was asked to provide an update due to being the only member present from the St Oswald’s Feast Working Group. Cllr Hare stated that he was not able to comment further, but Councillors should refer to the notes from the 6 th June meeting held at Bardney Methodist Hall.
Cllr Fleetwood referred Councillors to his own briefing note that was circulated prior to the meeting and detailed the work he had personally undertaken, identifying areas which were not yet finalised. This included a number of items that were not yet paid for such as toilet hire, generator and three quotes obtained for event insurance. It was noted that last year’s first aid event provider were not available to attend this year’s event, and that the Council had now received a copy of the H&S purple book that provides guidance for event organisers.
It was confirmed that WLDC and the Police had been contacted in regards to licencing and it had been determined that the event can still move forward on a TENs (Temporary Events Notices) Licence for this year.
· Overnight camping and whether the activity would be fully legal and complying with any other requirements including distance stipulations
· Who was to benefit from the income generated by the camping
· If there were any planning permission requirements
· Insurance cover for overnight stays
· Concerns about noise in relation to the later finish time of 10.30pm
· Whether the correct First Aid Cover is in place
· Who will be volunteering and helping with the event
Discussion of Costs
It was noted that the Parish Council had budgeted for £2500 for St Oswald’s Feast Event, and with other items not yet paid for, the event is not estimated to break even.
Cllr Lane wished to remind the Council that this money is being drawn from the Parish Precept and even with sponsorship, the costs for this event could be £3600.
Cllr Lane wished to know why the event was being discussed with only part of the information and made a request that all details are provided to Council to address these concerns.
The Chairman confirmed that Insurance quotes recently obtained had come back within the proposed budget, and that although the first aid provider from last year was not available, the risk assessment for the event with current training could be deemed acceptable. It was also stated that temporary campsites did not need planning permission.
Cllr Lane stated that it should be the job of the working group and not the Chairman to obtain and present all the information to the Council. It was also stated that the previous meeting was not a proper working group meeting and that an official working group meeting was needed to avoid any conflicts of interest.
The Chairman confirmed that in Cllr Darby’s absence, the working group were asked to attend the planning event last week by Mr Castle, however, the only information made available was the notes of that meeting produced by Cllr Darby.
Cllr Lane requested that Council need to know what is in place and be provided with information on all documents, licences, insurances and music licences for bands. Additionally, that the Council are accountable to the public not just themselves and need to ensure the correct measures are in place.
It was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Wright and unanimously RESOLVED that the St Oswald’s Feast Event working group meet quickly to ensure no further time is lost and then report to Full Council clear details including the proposed budget.
The Chairman emphasised the importance of having this meeting arranged as soon as possible for when members of the working group return. Cllr Hare also requested and agreed to meet with the Chairman before this meeting took place.
7. To receive an update on and consider Office technology including Computing Equipment and Accounting Software
A report was previously circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting which detailed some of the inadequacies with the current office technology which were affecting employees work. This included phone signal and issues with work being interrupted when calls come in, the Clerk’s PC being outdated and in need of replacement, the Admin Assistant’s laptop being slow and showing hard drive issues, a lack of accounting software, high data charges which were not acceptable from the email service and the need for a new Parish Council Facebook page.
It was recommended and proposed at a reasonable cost to make alternative arrangements with the phone service, retire the Clerk’s and Admin Assistant’s computers, install and trial Easy PC Accounts free of charge for 3 months and nominate Cllr Wright to create a new Facebook Page for the Parish Council. The Acting Clerk confirmed that the original Facebook Page has now been disabled so that a new one could be created.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Papworth and unanimously RESOLVED to agree to make the necessary changes or purchases to enable the Council to move forward.
8. To receive an update on and consider the current Parish Office working environment
A report was previously circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting which detailed the inadequacies with the current Parish Office working environment, including the staffing issues it presented, to consider legal requirements and present some options.
The Chairman reported that following a survey of fuel usage for the generator, which was estimated to be over 1L of petrol per hour, 7 hours daily usage was a considerable amount of fuel. It was noted that the requirement to operate a generator, could also have a negative effect on the recruitment of office staff.
The Chairman reminded the Council that employers have a duty of care towards their employees and the current conditions were not suitable.
It was proposed by Cllr Newlove, seconded by Cllr Lane and unanimously RESOLVED to relocate the office to the Village Hall Pavilion in the short term from August 1st, with a view to establish a permanent office in the Village Hall.
9. To consider a request for new posts and a gate in the Churchyard
Cllr Wright reported that members of the Parish had requested that a new gate and posts be erected in St Lawrence Churchyard. It was noted that the handyman had attempted repairs previously, but the gate needs to be made easier to open for health and safety, including for the farmer to access his sheep and for grass cutting.
Cllr Lane queried that the Council cannot give maintenance to churches unless it is classed as closed. The Chairman confirmed that the churchyard is classed as closed.
Cllr Wright stated that there would be no costs attached as all necessary items are available and that only the handyman’s time is needed.
Cllr Newlove raised a question whether the work will have listed building consent because it is within the curtilage of a listed building. The Chairman confirmed that the Council will check before any work is carried out.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright, seconded by Cllr Newlove and RESOLVED to approve the request subject to checking if any consents are necessary.
10. To consider and agree PAT testing requirements
Cllr Hutchinson provided a report that employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure the equipment they use is safe. It is understood that the handyman went on a PAT testing course, but has no equipment. A PAT testing machine is required and a certificate of competence on file. It was noted that Cllr Lintin and Cllr Hutchinson are both qualified and competent.
It was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Hare and RESOLVED that Cllr Hutchinson carries out PAT Testing for the Parish Council to ensure all equipment is appropriately checked.
11. To consider any planning applications received or decided since the last meeting, including any received since the agenda was issued, and to decide any action that the Council wishes to take:
146583 – Amended Planning application for removal and replacement of outbuilding, and removal of garage and erection of two-storey side extension. Emmerdale, Lowthorpe, Southrey, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN3 5TD.
146755 - Planning application for two storey side extension, balcony and covered porch, erection of detached car port and garden store. The Cottages, Hoop Lane, Apley, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, LN8 5JR.
It was AGREED that there were no comments to make in relation to the above applications.
12. To ratify the payments for May 2023, note the receipts and to approve the list of payments outstanding
The Chairman informed the Council that the items listed at the top were all the payments and receipts for the Month of May 2023, and at the bottom were a list of cheque payments we are currently in the process of paying.
A question was raised on how payments were arranged with Wragby Parish Council for the use of the handyman, sharing and repairing of equipment and disposal of waste. Cllr Papworth suggested contact be made with Wragby Parish Council to obtain further information.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Wright and unanimously RESOLVED to ratify and approve the payments.
13. To approve the Bank Reconciliation Statement as at 31st May 2023
It was proposed by Cllr Newlove, seconded by Cllr Wright and unanimously RESOLVED to approve the bank reconciliation statement.
14. To receive an update on Bank Access and authorised signatories
The Acting Clerk reported that we are currently awaiting for access to be granted and the paperwork has now been submitted to add admin access and two new Councillor Signatories.
15. To confirm date of next meeting as Tuesday 18 th July 2023
It was noted that an extra-ordinary meeting will be needed to report the outcome of the St Oswald’s Feast Event Working Group and may be needed for approving payments.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and wished them a safe journey home.
Meeting Closed 8.28pm